The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) second Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD), HMAS Adelaide (L01) arrived in Jakarta, Indonesia on Sunday for a scheduled port visit.
The ship, the largest in the RAN service, was welcomed by the Indonesian Navy personnel as it slowly pulled into the dock. It will dock in Jakarta until Tuesday, hosting a reception onboard on Monday night.
The ship is part of Australian Defence Force (ADF) Joint Task Group executing the Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017 in the Indo-Pacific region. The deployment was started on Sept. 4 and will conclude on Nov. 26.
It will focus on enhancing military cooperation with some of Australia’s key regional partners including Brunei, Cambodia, the Federated States of Micronesia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Timor-Leste.
HMAS Adelaide will be accompanied at various stages of the deployment by HMAS Melbourne, HMAS Darwin, HMAS Toowoomba, HMAS Parramatta, and HMAS Sirius, making this the biggest coordinated task group deployment since the early 1980s.
The deployment will also involve service personnel from the Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and include Defence civilians, helicopters, and fixed-wing aircraft.
It comes amid rising tensions in the hotly contested waters of the South China Sea with China facing increasing criticism for its reclamation of reefs and militarisation of islands in the waters.
Commanding Officer of HMAS Adelaide, Captain Jon Earley said they hope to visit as many countries as possible to showcase the capabilities Australia brings to the region for maritime security, terrorism and natural disaster response.
About Canberra-class LHD:
The Canberra class is a ship class of two Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The ship’s design is based on the warship Juan Carlos I, built by Navantia for the Spanish Navy.
They are the largest vessels ever operated by the RAN, with a displacement of 27,500 tonnes (27,100 long tons; 30,300 short tons).
The Canberra-class vessels are 230.82 metres (757.3 ft) long overall, with a maximum beam of 32 metres (105 ft), and a maximum draught of 7.08 metres (23.2 ft). Keeping the maximum draught low was an important factor during design, allowing the ships to operate in littoral waters and small harbours.
The ship’s sensor suite includes a Saab Sea Giraffe 3D surveillance radar and a Vampir NG infrared search and track (IRST) system.
For self-defence, the LHDs are fitted with four Rafael Typhoon 25 mm remote weapons systems (RWS) (one in each corner of the flight deck), six 12.7 mm machine guns, an AN/SLQ-25 Nixie towed torpedo decoy, and a Nulka missile decoy. Planned upgrades include the installation of up to three Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS) from 2018.
The ships’ companies consist of 358 personnel; 293 RAN, 62 Australian Army, and 3 Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
Construction of the first ship, HMAS Canberra, commenced in late 2008, with the hull launched in early 2011, and sea trials in early 2014. Canberra was commissioned in November 2014. Work on the second vessel, HMAS Adelaide, started in early 2010. Adelaide was commissioned in December 2015.